Long live rock, I need it every night

Friday, June 29, 2007

DC Rock Club: Film Notes

As you know, we are quite the cineastes here at DC Rock Club. Here's a few upcoming movies that look like they could be worth seeing.

(1) Control: mentioned this one here. Biopic of Joy Division.

(2) This Is England: young boy growing up in England in the early 1980s. A look into English skinhead culture with a cool ska/Northern Soul soundtrack. I have a inside Hollywood big-time contact who gave me a copy of this one, which is not out yet. So, for once, Rock Club can scoop everyone else with a review, once we watch it. Here's a clip:

(3) Persepolis: animated movie based on a graphic novel about Iran and the fall of the Shah, and the government of the mullahs that followed. The theme is inherently rock-related: young kids chafing against authority. Graphic novels are boss. The most insightful book I ever read about the Yugoslavian Wars of the 1990s was a graphic novel entitled Safe Area Gorazde, by Joe Sacco.

Here's a clip from Persepolis. The cover of "Eye of the Tiger" by itself makes me want to see this:

Start planning now...

Not that you don't read Pitchfork, but...the set times for the Pitchfork Music Festival have been revealed.

Saturday, July 14:

Connector Stage

1:00 The Twilight Sad
2:00 Voxtrot
4:00 Battles
6:00 Mastodon
8:00 Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues

Aluminum Stage

1:30 Califone
3:00 Grizzly Bear
5:00 Iron and Wine
7:00 Clipse
9:00 Yoko Ono (with special guests)

Balance Stage

1:00 Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound
2:00 William Parker Quartet
3:10 Beach House
4:10 Fujiya & Miyagi
5:15 Professor Murder
6:15 Oxford Collapse
7:15 Dan Deacon
8:30 Girl Talk

Sunday, July 15:

Connector Stage

1:00 Deerhunter
2:00 Menomena
4:00 The Sea and Cake
6:00 Stephen Malkmus
8:00 The New Pornographers

Aluminum Stage

1:30 The Ponys
3:00 Junior Boys
5:00 Jamie Lidell
7:00 Of Montreal
9:00 De La Soul

Balance Stage

1:00 Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra
2:00 Brightblack Morning Light
3:10 Nomo
4:10 Craig Taborn's Junk Magic
5:15 The Cool Kids
6:15 Cadence Weapon
7:15 The Field
8:30 Klaxons

Lots of interesting things here. On Saturday, I'll be at the Balance Stage for most of the day. Dan Deacon and Girl Talk back to back? Damn. On Sunday my only must see is Menomena. I need to do some research on some of the Sunday bands so I don't opt for the wrong stage and miss a killer show. I'll probably check out Of Montreal (last saw them at Common Grounds in Arlington) and The Cool Kids (I love the old school rap). Missing the New Pornographers would probably be a mistake.

Any thoughts on who Yoko's special guests be?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lennon's Lost Weekend

There's a new book out called 'Lennon Revealed'. Check out this excerpt which details Lennon's "Lost Weekend", his destructive 18 month period in LA with Harry Nilsson and Phil Spector. A lot of crazy shit happened, like Phil Spector chasing Lennon around with a gun. Yikes.

Lennon and Nilsson: "Ha ha, very funny Phil.... ummm...seriously, put the gun down..."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Here's a Good One

Randomly stumbled across this one today: 1990s, "You Made Me Like It." I dig.

Here's the link to the AMG bio.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cover Me Badd

Saturday, June, 23, 2007 - The Black Cat $10 Main Stage

Rock Club suffered another week of weak options and weaker attendance from its membership, or for this sentence's sake, its "weakership." Personally, I'm always up for a good cover band (see "As Seen at the 9:30 Club"), so a night of solid rock tunes that I might actually recognize was a decent outcome given the circumstances.

Before I tell you about the show, I have to take a step back and describe the pre-show event. Well before the doors to the Black Cat opened, Mr. and Mrs. Jumbo Slice joined me for 7 innings of beer, peanuts, chex mix, beer, and baseball at RFK Stadium. We watched the local boys play their interleague non-rivals, the Cleveland Indians. Why do I mention this excursion? Well, prior to deciding on the Run For Cover! VI show, the alternative option was to attend yet another slightly tangential RC event. This time - a baseball game.

The tie-in? Well, for starters baseball is American. So is rock. So we've got that going for it. Which is nice. Additionally, the Nats were playing the Indians, which some also consider to be Americans (Indians = Americans; Rock = American ... Indians = Rock?). But in particular, these Indians are from Cleveland, and Cleveland is home to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, which I've been to (twice). You follow? Lastly, Major League Baseball, for better or worse, often uses rock music when announcing players as they come up to bat. The connection between Rock and Baseball is well founded, although I must say that the idea for linking RC to the songs that are played as hitters come to bat was not my own. My softball teammate Rosie gets credit for that one, but it's not like I wouldn't have come up with it on my own anyway. As if.

Anyhow, in keeping with the RC spirit, we decided to vote on which player had the best and worst intro song. The winner: local favorite, outfielder, number 19, Ryan Church. Church comes to the plate as Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" plays over the PA. The worst song went to Cleveland's Josh Barfield (I think) who came out to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer. Boo hiss. So now for the RC Challenge. Which song would you pick to play as you came to the plate? I expect some good responses here. I'm tempted to choose "Super Bon Bon" by Soul Coughing, first because I've got a man-crush for that band, second, because as discovered in Michael Jordan to the MAX, it is an awesome song to have playing when you enter or exit anywhere. (skip to the 54 second / -5:21 minute mark)

But I might actually pick "Love Buzz" from Nirvana's Bleach album. I dig a good bass line. It grabs your attention. Queen proves that to be true with "Another One Bites The Dust." Anyhow, we left the game while the Nats were up 3-1 only to learn that they lost 4-3 by game's end. As far as I was concerned, I saw them win(ning), so that's how it ended for me. On to the Black Cat. We picked up reliable RC stand-in Duh-Cut (see: Murder He Wrote) along the way, and made our way to the show.

For the sixth year in a row, a handful of DC's rock & rollers united for a night of tribute and parody. As usual, makeshift bands took the stage to play other people's tunes. This year's lineup included performances by Abbatite for Destruction, Revelation 88, Serious Moonlight, American Psychos, Don't Fear the Reefer, and more. But the truth be told, I saw only two of the bands perform at this concert. The first was the David Bowie cover band, and they were fantastic. Who cares that "David Bowie" looked more like Robert Palmer than anyone else? Or that he had the lyric sheets in plain view? He did a fantastic job - with the help of the rest of the band - of recreating the Bowie sound. They played for 5 or 6 songs, and all were hits and all sounded great (although wicked loud).

The other band that I actually witnessed was the aforementioned Abbatite for Destruction, the Abba and GnR concoction that was obviously more inventive and difficult to pull off than a straight up cover band. Rock Club's favorite Statehood bassist proved that he really will play with anyone as he donned a blonde wig and white suit to perform with yet another ensemble. He's your basic rock band whore. I heard he sells himself to bands in the Philadelphia area as well. Think twice before you ask him to perform at your wedding. God knows what he might expose you to on your special day. Abbatite for Destruction was comprised of the basic Abba line up, all dressed in Abba white, and speaking with genuine faux Swedish accents. They even assembled the Poang chair while on stage to show off their love of their homeland. The GnR ingredient came courtesy of a fat guy playing his killer axe and wearing a big black wig which loosely resembled the hairstyle of Volkswagen salesman Slash. He was later joined by an Axl Rosé performance artist who reminded me of the guy from Nytro Tokyo for some reason. Maybe because it was at this point in the night that I realized I had been drinking for some 6 hours.

So I spent the rest of the night down in the Red Room enjoying a few Red Room Ales (or as Jumbo Slice likes to call them, "Black Cats"). Meanwhile, I missed the AC/DC cover band upstairs but received the following report from Duh-Cut: " their music was great; the lead singer, however, (no fault of his) didn't sound at all like Bon Scott or Malcolm (?) Young - who both have pretty distinctive voices. I was disappointed they didn't play 'Highway to Hell'."

I also deftly avoided talking to this tall super model-esque young woman while downstairs. She conveniently made her way over and stood right behind me back to back as if to figure out which one of us was taller. Instead of saying hello, I opted to chat up the two femmes at the bar whom I had met the night before at a vegetarian pot luck (don't ask).

Eventually they turned the lights on in the Red Room, Duh-Cut was nowhere to be found, and Jumbo Slice and I stumbled on to the street. I don't think we stopped for any pizza even. And while my memory is fuzzy, I know for a fact that Jumbo Slice hopped into a cab and made his way to NoVa; so keep your insinuations to yourself.

Can you believe these guys have a greatest hits album?

Hey, Neat

Excellent, The Verve are getting back together.

Actually I suppose this could go either way, Richard Ashcroft is one of those guys who fancies himself as some sort of quasi-mystical poet and as such the ratio of self indulgent shit to good music is high. Or wait, is the ratio low? It depends on whether "Shit" is in the denominator, or numerator. Anyway, you know what I'm trying to say, quit sidetracking me with math.

Here's the "Bittersweet Symphony" video. Good video--it's basically Ashcroft running into a bunch of people and not apologizing. What a dick, man, what a dick.

PS Richard Ashcroft looks like Finn Detrolio, from The Sopranos. Don't remember Finn? He was Meadow's boyfriend, who saw Vito Spatafore getting the gay hummer at the construction site.
PSS Sorry, I couldn't resist--here's the video to "Lucky Man." Richard Ashcroft may be a little ridiculous but if he keeps writing songs like this one he can get away with it. Fun fact: the part of the song where he goes "I'm standing naked/smiling/I feel no disgrace" has always sounded to me like "I'm Stevie Nicks, smiling/I feel no disgrace." Obviously, he is not saying he is Stevie Nicks--that would be too megalomaniacal, even for Richard Ashcroft.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Prime Minister Blair--A Farewell Tribute

If you follow the news as closely as I do, you will have doubtless noted that Prime Minister Blair will be leaving office soon. I thought this would be an appropriate time to look back at Blair's tenure, and show respeck for all the things the PM has done for rock-n-roll.

1) Blair's time in office saw the rise of what became known as "Britpop," which involved fey young men in tight trousers prancing about like they were members of the Bolshoi Ballet. This was seen as a complete reversal of 60 years of poor dental hygiene, offensive body odor (odour?), and disgusting food. The world was much pleased, and termed it the era of "Cool Britannia."

Would you like to see my drawrings? Would you?

Blair's role in this was integral. In the episode entitled "Kids Can Be Cruel", you may remember that Dan Frischman showed up all like, yo, I want to go out with you Blair. Not only was Frischman--better known as "Arvid", from Head of the Class--a dork, but he also was a fan of the Grateful Dead. To quote Blair's top adviser, Mrs. Garrett: if they're dead, why are they so grateful?

To this, there was great merriment, and Arvid was the subject of much derision.

Blair deftly ended this controversy by labeling Arvid "Pizzaface", refusing to go to the prom with him, and by treating him like a right fucking git and telling him to sod off. Thus ended the stranglehold of the hippies on pop radio, ushering in the likes of Oasis and Blur. Well done, Prime Minister Blair!

2) Blair also solidified the nexus between power politics, rock music, and Hollywood. Blair and George Clooney were particularly close and it's rumored that Blair and Clooney often snogged and maybe shagged once, while Tootie watched and diddled her fanny in the corner of Number 10 Downing Street. Hey, you take the good, you take the bad. That's how Blair rolled.

3) Blair's tenure was not without controversy. The PM took a lot of heat for what is known as "The Special Relationship." This refers to Blair's retarded cousin, Geri. Geri, who was--and still is--retarded, was a real buzzkill, and Blair assumed that it would be okay to follow the Arvid template, and tell her to get bent, you fucking spazzo, Bob's yer uncle, etc etc.

Geri: Let's go to the party, Blaih.
Blair: Fuck off, geezer.

However, this action was roundly condemned, especially by Blair's then-crush, Manchester United washout Gavin Rossdale, lead singer of Bush. The Bush-Blair fall-out resulted in Rossdale snubbing Blair's invite to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Instead, Rossdale went with fellow mediocrity Gwen Stefani, and he later fingered her in the back seat of his dad's Dodge Stratus. Sources say Blair was absolutely crushed when Natalie delivered the news. Astute political observers say this episode marked the beginning of the end of the Blair Era. Meanwhile, Bush's approval ratings fell to record lows.

Bush: Ratings Fell After Stefani Fingering Incident

Anyway, I'd just like to say to Prime Minister Blair, on behalf of DC Rock Club, well done, cheerio, and many thanks for your contributions to rock. You shall be missed.

PM Blair: History Will Judge You Kindly

Friday, June 22, 2007

eMusic + Pitchfork Music Festival = free music

Do you like free music? Of course you do. You're not an asshole. A doosh (take note of the Jimbromski spelling) perhaps, but an asshole you are not.

eMusic is giving away 16 songs to promote the Pitchfork Music Festival (like it needs the help). You can download the complimentary playlist here. If you haven't listened to the likes of Professor Murder, Dan Deacon, and The Twilight Sad, here's your chance. Don't miss it, asshole.

Coronary Country


I need to give full credit to Jimbromski for the headline. I can't resist using a Seinfeld reference. Also, I apologize to Potsy for not using the cameraphone video he took at the show, unfortunately the quality was quite poor and I didn't want it to dilute our otherwise perfect website. I prefer the courtroom-style artist rendering of the band seen above.


I will readily admit that i had the Heartless Bastards 2 discs in heavy rotation prior to the show and I quite enjoy them. I enjoy the blues rock sound and I am a known fan of fictional band "Blueshammer". I also like a female lead (i.e. Sleater-Kinney, Long Blondes, Cher...). Anyway, I had relatively high expectations for the show and fully expected them to bring the noise. And you know how I feel about the RNR Hotel, it is currently my favorite for DC music venues.


I was able to catch a little of opener Earl Greyhound after our unfortunate delay at Argonaut Tavern. Good sandwich and beer, but our server was straight out of Melwood. At least we got some stuff for free. EG was pretty good in a classic rock sense. Heavy guitar and bass, hippie lead singer, Jackie Brown/70's throwback bass player. Whats not to like. I felt like I was at a Triumph show circa 1974.

The Heartless Bastards came on pretty late and I was a bit underwhelmed at first. The music was pretty good, I guess I just wanted a bit more energy from the band. The Billy Corgan/Potsy blend of a bass player barely moved and kept his eyes shut the entire show. I think the nickname we gave the drummer was "Carl" and he looked like he could be working at your local Blockbuster recommending Pan's Labyrinth to clueless patrons. He did however play a pretty mean kit. Like I said, I enjoyed the music for the most part, but the show was just missing a little something. I guess I needed a bit more energy. The lead also wasnt much of a looker.


Since it has been over a week since the show, I can now look back and analyze my intial thoughts. I knocked them for not having much personality on stage, however sometimes that is a good thing. In the past week we saw Illinois, a band with potential and good music, unfortunately ruined by an annoying lead. Sometimes its just good to stick to the music like the Heartless Bastards did last week. It a fine line between boring and annoying, and I think the HB did a fine job of doing what they do best. All in all, a good night out and a solid B in my book, which can also be translated into a RC rating of 6.7. Oh, it was also good to see Thom.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stephen Tyrone Colbert and Toby Keith Covel


If The Stephen Colbert Report hadn't already surpassed The Jon Stewart Show in every respect, it did so on Monday, June 18, 2007. I enjoyed this program so much that I was looking for a way to share my thoughts with the RC readership. But how would it possibly tie into a Rock Club post? Thankfully, this show was so good, it offered up an interview with Toby Keith complete with a live musical performance. Prior to the interview with TB, Colbert did a bit about Bob Barker's retirement from the Price is Right, where he suggested that Barker take over as President of the World Bank. He also did a bit about Matthew McConaughey (MM). See below for Colbert's commentary on the "Mantasy."

That photo of MM with his eyes half-open is priceless.

But the interview with Toby Keith led me to do some research, and I was fascinated to learn the following thanks to Wikipedia (so you know it's true):

  • Toby Keith Covel was born in Clinton, Oklahoma, July 8, 1961

  • in 1979, TK went to work as a derrick hand in the booming oil fields of Oklahoma

  • In 1982, the oil industry in Oklahoma began a rapid decline and Keith soon found himself unemployed. He fell back on his football training and played defensive end with the semi-pro Oklahoma City Drillers while continuing to perform with his band. (The Drillers were an unofficial farm club of the USFL's Oklahoma Outlaws)

  • In 1993, Keith went to Nashville, Tennessee. He distributed copies of a demo tape the band had made to the many record companies in the city. There was no interest by any of the record labels and Keith returned home feeling depressed.

  • Fortunately for Keith, a flight attendant and fan of his gave a copy of Keith's demo tape to Harold Shedd, a Mercury Records executive, while he was traveling on a flight she was working.

  • Shedd enjoyed what he heard, went to see Keith perform live and then signed him to a recording contract with Mercury.

  • Keith made an appearance at the very first Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (then NWA-TNA) weekly pay-per-view on June 19, 2002, where his playing of Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett. He would later enter the Gauntlet for the Gold main event specifically to eliminate Jarrett from the match. He would appear the next week, on June 26, and help Scott Hall defeat Jarrett in singles action.

  • In 2005, Keith opened Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Bricktown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

  • Keith is currently writing a script for a movie based on his and Willie Nelson's 2003 hit Beer for My Horses.

There is more fascinating factoids about Toby Keith that I encourage you to check out on Wikipedia. Here is Stephen Colbert's review of Toby Keith's "High Maintenance Woman" single (which sucks balls) that TK performed on the show.

New Releases

I've been listening to the new Art Brut album It's A Bit Complicated. There aren't any truly killer tunes like "Formed a Band", "Emily Kane", or "Bad Weekend", but there are some winners. "Direct Hit" and "Nag Nag Nag Nag" are two that come to mind. Eddie Argos still provides chuckle inducing lyrics in his signature narrative style. Seems like most reviews are giving this album a B to B+, which seems about right.

I like Interpol. Not a big-big fan (for proper effect you have to say "big-big" really fast), but I enjoy them enough. So while I'm curious about their album coming out next week, Our Love To Admire, I'm more intrigued by their album cover. It reminds me of some of the videos that have graced this here blog. We here at Rock Club love all things Wild Kingdom. Nicely done, Interpol.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Illinois at the R&R Hotel, June 19th, 2007

Illinois is a love 'em or hate 'em band. You come across such instances in sports (Kobe), politics (George W.), entertainment (Tom Cruise), and even Rock Club (Jimbromski). I entered the evening in the Love 'Em camp but by night's end I had jumped ship.

The lead singer, Chris Archibald, set an early tone and it wasn't a good one. He was cajoling the crowd to sing "for he's a jolly good fellow" for his sister's birthday. He was perturbed the crowd wasn't more into it. He struck me as a mix of Johnny Knoxville and Ashton Kutcher (the Punk'd version). That is to say he was annoying. Like the onstage persona of many frontmen (Travis Morrison in particular comes to mind), you either find Archibald as charming and charismatic or tiresome and aggravating. It's all in the eye (and ear) of the beholder.

Musically, their ragged and ramshackle performance reminded me of Okkervil River, if you substituted the mandolin for a banjo. Four guys took part in the vocals (which made for some nice harmonies) and at times they really kicked out the jams. I tuned out the irritating banter enough to see the potential of the band. I wouldn't be surprised if these guys continued to get more exposure and popularity. With dates at big events like Lollapalooza, it might just happen. Their appeal to the high school and college set was evident by the numerous under 21 patrons at the show.

Earlier this year Illinois toured with the biggest "Love 'Em or Hate 'Em" band in indie rock today: The Hold Steady. They're clearly big fans of Craig Finn and crew. The bassist wore a Hold Steady shirt onstage and their touring van has "The Hold Steady" stenciled in black paint on its side. While their musical stylings aren't similar, the bands have a few other things in common: an attention grabbing lead singer with a unique vocal delivery, an energetic and carefree live show, and an uncanny ability to divide audiences into two camps. For now, I'm in the Hate 'Em camp but in time I expect many more people gravitating to the other side.

The backing band gets a 7.1 but factoring in the lead singer's 2.5 rating, Illinois garners a Rock Club Rating of 4.8.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Veils@ DC9, June 12, 2007

Since this was an extra credit show I will be brief. Potsy an I decided on an impromptu night out last Monday for the Veils show at DC9.

Things I liked:

1.The opening song by The Veils (even with the technical difficulties). good, bluesy number with a bit of energy. Lead singer Finn Andrews even knocked over the mic stand with his flailing guitar. The band was at its best playing the blues rock. Andrews has a gravelly voice reminiscent of Nick Cave, with the appearance and emotion of Jeff Buckley. The show had its flashes of brilliance.

2. I came up with an excellent idea for a documentary about those kids in the beauty pageants ala Little Miss Sunshine. I thought it would be interesting to see how they turn out, like 20 years later. My guess is that they are all fucked up in the head. There was alot more to this idea, but I digress...

3. The bass player was good looking.

Things I did not like:

1. When The Veils played the slow jams ala Coldplay. It bored me to tears. Stick with the rock.

2. The doofus who talked the entire show. What is it lately with the loud talking during a bands set. This happened at BRMC as well. The dude at DC9 was a fucking drunk tool with a goofy t-shirt. So, Mr. Talker, if you are reading this, you're a toolbag.

3. I am not a huge fan of DC9. Its like one small step above Velvet Lounge.

It was a decent night out. I was expecting a bit more, but it was better than sitting at home watching Monday night TV. I give the show an 82 (B-).

Concert Preview: Illinois

For a band from Bucks Country, PA with only 2 EPs, Illinois gets a surprising amount of positive press. For the most part, it's deserved. They play folk rock (not exactly a hip genre) and their lead singer plays the banjo. While that sounds like a recipe for one shitty band, their latest EP What The Hell Do I Know? is quite good.

My expectations are high for this show, which usually is a bad sign. I'm hoping for something on par with the Menomena show, but fear we'll get a total bust like Dick Swift...

Monday, June 18, 2007

I love everything you've ever done...

Jumbo Slice,

Nice job updating the look to the blog. Much better. I was about to send a note asking for a reminder of what's going on this week, but I see you've put back the "Upcoming Shows" and the "Who Picks" sections. Thank you. I still had Mass Movement of the Moth on my calendar and was confused. All better now....

I also see that you jumped on the chance to see the "Black Accents" play in early July. As for my week to pick a show, here's what I offer:

1. RUSH at the Nissan Pavilion (Saturday, June 23rd). Tix are double our maximum, however, coming in at $40 after service charges. Although, I could see the potential for tix being available on craigslist below cost (I've already seen one post to that effect). C'mon. This will be a scene! I will even wear my concert T from the "Presto" tour if we go.

2. Nationals v. Cleveland (home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) Indians on Saturday the 23rd (7:05pm) or Sunday the 24th (1:35pm). Tailgate, enjoy a game, gamble a little (the cup game is a good one), and I have a Rock-themed extra as well.

Post your comments now...

The Hall Monitors

A local blog that has good taste in music recommends a DC band called The Hall Monitors. I had never heard of them but apparently they put on an ass kicking show. These guys will appeal to the classic rock lovers of Rock Club. Their songs have a retro/garage/punk sound that remind me of The Black Lips. Let's check them out the next time they play in the city.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dizzee Rascal

In 2004 British rapper Dizzee Rascal got crazy great reviews for his album Boy In Da Corner. In fact, it's one of the top 10 albums of the past 8 years according to MetaCritic.com. The only problem is the album totally sucks donkey dick. He should have changed his named to Shitty Rascal after putting that album out.

Now, I'm a fan of underground rap (MF Doom, Madvillain, RJD2, etc.) and I enjoy British hip-hop artists such as The Streets but Boy In Da Corner is crap. Hugely overhyped albums happen every year. Other examples include Arular by M.I.A. and Blueberry Boat by The Fiery Furnaces (although their 1st album is outstanding). People lauded these albums because they were different and unique, but that didn't mean they were good.

This morning I listened to Dizzee Rascal's new album Maths and English. I read a very positive review and decided to see how bad it'd be. To my surprise it was decent, good actually. Maybe I should give his first album another shot. Perhaps I just didn't "get it" the first time around. Nah, it's still crap. That won't stop me from enjoying his new album though.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

long live the blondes

the long blondes live - @ the Rock & Roll Hotel - June 7, 2007 - $12

Look at this band. Do they not strike you as a force to be reckoned with? Riding the nostalgia brit-pop-punk train, The Long Blondes chugged into the Nation's Capital last week for some in-your-face rock and roll.

This was a Jimbromski pick, and a good one at that. Unfortunately, you won't get the pleasure of his review of the show. He didn't see it. He had other things to do. Some sort of family commitment, I think. He decided to "Let Go. And Go Outback Tonight." He feigned disappointment in missing the show, but I'm pretty sure he ate an entire Bloomin' Onion by himself. Here's what Jimbromski shared with us afterward:

"also to add to misery last night, i forgot to record the USA/Guatemala game. We went to Outback and they showed it on one of the TVs, but I was blocked by a column. There were two other bigger TVs that were showing classic NFL on the NFL Network. Guess which game I fucking watched for two hours? Raiders-Pats, 2000, the motherfucking tuck rule game."

Jimbromski loves his Raiders. The rest of us were pleased to see him punished for missing what turned out to be one of the better shows we've seen thus far. More on that later...

So let's turn to our membership for reactions to the Long Blondes.

(Potsy) What kind of preparations did you make for seeing the Long Blondes? What was your approach to getting to know this band?

(Sacklunch) I listened to the album multiple times before the show. I enjoyed the album quite a bit, but I didn't think it was great. On a scale from 1-5, I rate the album a solid 3.75. However, that was before the show. After the show I bump it up to a 4.25. That was my only preparation. Except for the 2 beers I had before the show.

(Potsy) Describe your first impression of the Long Blondes.

(Sacklunch) I thought the lead singer (Kate??) was hot in an Austin Powers movie sort of way. Kind of like a poor mans (very poor mans) Elizabeth Hurley.

(Jumbo Slice) I think the lead singer could be described as "a homeless man's Elizabeth Hurley".

(Sacklunch) Yeah, homeless man is a better description. She isn't in the same league as Hurley, but she had that British sexiness about her. I have a thing for English girls...for some reason they don't seem as intimidating as say, a French or Spanish woman. And I dig the accent.

(Potsy) Dissect this 5 piece ensemble. Where's the beef, and where's the fat?

(Jumbo Slice) The lead singer, drummer, and guitarist are the driving force i
n concert. The bassist and keyboardist could probably be replaced and the band wouldn't miss a beat. I suspect the guitarist is the true genius behind the whole band, but I can't be certain. Of course, without a sexy and dy-no-mite front woman, the band would go nowhere. I also have to give credit to the drummer. I watch(ed) from the side of the stage for a while and the guy is solid.

(Potsy) In which Reality TV show would you most like to see this group featured?

(Sacklunch) I don't know, maybe I would like to see them on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. They could take on other Indie bands in feats of strength and the proverbial "Battle of the Bands". I think they also have sex on those shows.

(Jumbo Slice) Speaking of reality shows, I caught a little bit of a new show on MTV called "Band in a Bubble". I'm officially too old for MTV. I still enjoy the nonsense of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, but the bands they feature on MTV make me want to light myself on fire. So to answer you're question, I hope they never appear on that show because it's pure crap.

(Potsy) Rock and roll has a long and close relationship with drugs and alcohol. Which drugs and/or alcohol go best with the Long Blondes?

(Sacklunch) A thin line of coke, snorted off the lead singers breasts.

(Potsy) How did they sound?

(Jumbo Slice) The show was fantastic. It was definitely one our top shows. As I discussed via email, I'd put it just outside of my top 5 shows. I really hope they play DC again. I like bands that have great energy and get the crowd moving. Lord knows no one in DC actually likes to dance at shows. Their set list was spot on. They tore through songs knowing exactly how and when to shift gears.

(Sacklunch) I thought they sounded fantastic. That was one case where the live act sounded as good, if not better than the studio album. Kudos to the RNR Hotel for having a good sound system that is consistent week after week. Although the room was only about 2/3 full, there was great energy amongst the crowd and a lot of people were dancing. They opened with "Lust in the Movies" which set the show off right. Excellent opener. Other standouts included "Giddy Stratospheres" and a sped up "Once and Never Again." But the highlight for me was "Separated by Motorways" which I believe was the last song they played. Now that I am thinking of it, that was a great fucking show. They played quick 3 minute tunes in rapid succession. Not too much banter but they seemed happy to be there and acknowledged the enthusiasm of the crowd. Played for about 1 hour (take note BRMC). In my eyes, it was very similar to The Thermals show. I think I am going to put the CD right now.

I hope your steak was good, Jimbromski. You missed a great show.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Too Late...

I hate when this happens. I stumbled across a new album I really liked: Woke Myself Up by Julie Doiron. Being a diligent rock clubber I checked to see if she's touring. Sure enough, she's on tour right now. Unfortunately, she played here last week. Washington was the 4th stop on her tour. Oh well. As much as I'd have liked to have seen her, I doubt it'd have topped The Long Blondes show. Speaking of which, we need to write that review...

Friday, June 08, 2007

This is an example of....

Posting to the blog via email thus negating the "it's faster to send an email than create a post" argument.

Bands I plan on listening to today:

The View
Elvis Costello
The Long Blondes*

* such a good show last night

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Mooney Suzuki Are Huge Assholes

At least according to this article. I found the story very amusing. It's no wonder The Mooney Suzuki are being relegated to the 3rd Division of Indie Rock.

Just a reminder, the Moonies are playing at the Rock & Roll Hotel on July 8th. I fully expect them to play at The Warehouse Next Door in 6 months and Sacklunch's basement within a year.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Always Bet on Black

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Saturday June 2nd, 2007 @ the 9:30 Club

In the run up to Saturday night's RC event, I had been doing some thinking about what makes for a good rock band name. I was struck by how many of today's bands have the word "Black" as part of their name including some that we have seen in recent years: The Black Lips, The Black Keys, The Black Angels, and this week's act, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC), to name a few. Expand that list further to include the Black Crowes, Godspeed you Black Emperor, Black Flag, Black 47, Black Grape, Black Eyed Peas, and perhaps the most obvious, Black Sabbath, and one can start to see that "Black" holds a certain cache in the rock world. I decided to investigate this further.

In a non-scientific study using allofmp3.com as the search engine, there were 77 artists returned when the word "Black" was used as a keyword. Compare that number to the 34 artists returned when searching for "Red," and the 31 artists returned when searching using "White" as a keyword, and you see that there are more bands with "Black" in their names. "Blue," came in at 47 artists, and if I didn't list your favorite color's results, you can look into it yourself. It's clearly not that difficult to do.

"So what?" you might be asking... So what indeed. I started thinking about this partly as a result of a recent study on colors and sports teams. As reported by Tedwin's National Geographic dot com, "[w]hen opponents of a game are equally matched, the team dressed in red is more likely to win." So now you know why the Arizona Diamondbacks ditched the teal and dress in red. I also seem to recall an effort to offer more sports merchandise in black because it sold better. I can't find any evidence to support that claim, but just because I don't have evidence doesn't make it untrue.

So does this same concept hold true for rock? When dueling rock bands are equally matched, does the band with "Black" in their name rock more? I think the answer is going to be "yes." Why else would so many bands choose it? To test my theory, I ask you to consider the following two bands: "The Counting Crows" and "The Black Crowes." Both are "crow" bands and popular at the same time in recent history. Accepting that both of these bands have their own liabilities, I think it's obvious that "The Black Crowes" would bash in the teeth of "The Counting Crows" in a rock off. Don't forget that Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows is NOT BLACK. Although he appears to be, it does not help his band's cause.

The lesson here for any band looking for that extra edge: consider modifying your name. "The Black Accents," has a nice ring to it, no? Although I should caution you that this is not fool-proof (I'm looking at you band-formerly-known-as Bow Tie Review).

So how about a review of the BRMC show?

This was the 4th BRMC show that I have seen dating back to their appearance at the 9:30 Club as an opening act to Spiritualized a few years ago. Now that was a fantastic show! BRMC rocked the entire place hard enough to keep us awake for the dream/sleep-inducing Spiritualized that followed. I remember thinking that BRMC had an exceptionally good light show as well (but maybe that was borrowed from Spiritualized, I can't say). Since that show, however, and most notably on their tour supporting Howl, I have not come away as enthusiastic after their performance. Perhaps it is a result of unrealistic expectations, but I also think that the release of Howl and the acoustic roots-rock vibe it offers - while exceptional in my mind - is so different from the ethereal sound of their earlier work that it makes for a disjointed concert experience. Consider the grand entrance that BRMC attempted to make on Saturday night. They had a sold out crowd largely packed into the lower level of the 9:30 Club, complete with a security wall at the stage (which Jumbo Slice pointed out had not been seen/necessary for any of our previous trips to the 930). They played some low-fidelity intro that seemed to have technical difficulties from the beginning, and then they filled the place with fake smoke and used a few too many strobe lights to grab the crowd's attention (apologies to the epileptics who were injured/killed). This big production fits the Jesus and Mary Chain sound that they bring, but doesn't really work for the Howl tracks like Devil's Waitin'. All the smoke and strobe lights and intro music does little for this act. They would be better without these klunky fx. I assign blame to Robert Levon Been (formerly Robert Turner). He seems to be the major dramatist in the band. His climb on top of the large speaker stack seemed a bit too premeditated and was not as cool as when Nic Offer from !!! did the same thing last month.

Having said all that, the first thing I should say about the show itself was that it was long. Very long. BRMC were very giving of their time. For the most part, this was welcomed by the large crowd, but attendance began dropping at the mid-way point, and there was a stretch of about 25 minutes that I could have happily skipped over. But with the exception of some persistent feedback, they performed great, and I enjoyed the level of rock on display. Playing for what seemed like 2 hours, the band pulled out some of the best for last in a long encore that included requests from the audience (which I don't like as it allows someone to mistakenly request a song that has already been played - awkward - thankfully that didn't happen). The tracks that they performed from Howl seemed to receive the best reaction from the crowd overall. I'd give the show a B+. Had it been condensed down to all the songs that I really liked, they would have earned an A-, but in this case they offered a bit too much.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Critical Disposition on the Works of Huey Lewis and The News

...brought to us by noted critic Patrick Bateman:

American Psycho is a wonderful movie and occupies a place of honor next to Point Break.

By the way, I am posting this at the request of Sack Lunch. This request brings up a few salient points:

1--The Lion/Buffalo/Crocodile vid (here) was, like my 5th grade school play, enjoyed by all, but its relevance was questioned by Sack and Potsy, as there was no real rock content. My answer to that is, if those two would get off their asses and post entertaining material on this blog (and no, cutting and pasting multiple paragraphs from Wikipedia doesn't count), I wouldn't have to work overtime finding such entertaining gems like the Berries and Cream Remix, or the Humanzee, or the picture of Amy Winehouse and Her Missing Teeth. Jumbo Slice does his part but frankly, you two have sucked at our teat for too long. So long that my teat is now chafed, red and sore.

Total fucking silence, pal. Well, two can play that game.

2--Sack Lunch requested I post this vid because he can't figure out how to post it on his own. Other technical things that befuddle Sack Lunch are (1) posting pictures on this blog, and (2) using the "Reply All" function in Hotmail. No wonder the Russians are kicking our fucking asses.